Information technology has its own special atmosphere.

    Imagine a man running out at night shouting from the office center and starting to break the curb. Zhenya shook the stone with his feet, tore it off and carried it back into the building.

    By this, our dear colleague solved one IT problem. The fact is that we equipped the server node in the building (a small data center with 20 racks) with servers. During the works, the raised floor began to bend - slowly, with a bang, and in general as in horror films. This is because the UPS units were installed nearby, 20 kilograms per unit. Without checking tolerances.

    So that there was no domino effect, Zhenya decided to pull out the battery packs. It didn't really help. But with the help of curb stone managed to slightly slow down the process. An hour later, a team of contractors who built this data center arrived, with about 30 jacks from an automobile shop for repair. Three weeks altered, only then we were able to continue.
    In communicating with foreign colleagues, we describe it as surprisingly amazing. With their own there is a more accurate term - "clowning."

    Air conditioners

    Before starting work as a key PM in large integration projects, I worked in outsourcing. Our teams in half with engineers stood guard over reality and common sense. In the sense, we were most often the second or third line of IT support where there are no IT specialists.

    Only a really interesting application can reach the third line.

    Example. The conditioner on server node of one large company breaks. The temperature in the room begins to rise. Sweaty people in jackets are running around and are very nervous. To the thermal of the shutter-down remains about three hours. Equipment can not be turned off - the instructions above. It seems that it is considered something important for the state.

    We rush to the store, return with a bunch of "penguins" (floor air-conditioners), at this time two more take the grinder and make a new door out of the wall immediately outside. We run with kondey, throwing our sleeves - we start to chill the cold. At that time, carried by.

    A more frequent case, probably familiar to everyone in outsourcing, looks like this: conditionally, a conder was installed 6 years ago. He broke down. You come to the vendor, the vendor says: dear colleagues, we are sincerely sorry for you, but such an air conditioner does not exist in nature. We do not have service, spare parts, and in general we want to see it through. We find the phone of the master for them not from the vendor. He says: ok, let's spare, we need to change the node. No spare parts - see figure 1. Yes, we are very far from Moscow. As a result, three people in jackets really disassembled air conditioning hands. The next day we found an office that repairs the motors, changed the winding for two days, then assembled together. When you first started again burned, because not our topic at all - did not write down the whole color coding, but only one side. And in the second part it is of a different color I'm still ashamed. Korotnulo. Repeat the same operation. The server room was open for six days, a guard stood at the entrance and was on duty so that no one could climb through. But they fixed it, otherwise everything would have stood there. After such cases, you feel strange - it seems like you saved the customer, and he is happy, but somehow everything is not so.

    A year later, the story repeated almost one-on-one: we arrived at the facility to watch the software, and there the air conditioner came. But we have already done everything without a short circuit.


    Supply of equipment in one large institution in the morning on Saturday - sent loaders. Call:
    - Hello! Who did you send me?
    - In terms of? Iron is correct?
    “The iron is right.
    - What's the matter?
    - And who will bring?
    - So there are movers in the same place? ..
    - We checked their documents. Everything, you no longer have these loaders. Found where to send illegal migrants.

    The head of the logistics company was very offended later and said that we were idiots here because we had incorrectly formulated the terms of reference.


    After one story, I still have the habit of reading pipe markings. The fact is that an inconspicuous such dark pipe was going right through the training hall. Well, goes and goes, damn it with her. And then it broke through. It turned out that this is not just a communication, but a very important communication - a fun pipe. Worse, its fan content leaked to IBM Z-series machines (IBM eServer zSeries). I really want to note that they are not intended for such operating conditions. But IBM engineers are still called. How all this was cleaned and how these machines still work is a whole group of fables that still go around the market. Sorry, colleagues cannot include this in advertising.

    The second known case was already in another company. There, the Chinese were building something upstairs in a large building. On the first floors there are offices, people live higher. And then a Chinese contractor accidentally split the bath. And poured into the trash the entire office downstairs. Naturally, the bathroom was exactly above the server node.


    Some colleagues said that they have quite a lot of equipment and there is a very tasty cable everywhere ... For rats. We must constantly watch what was gnawed. Once we disassembled communications before receiving the site. In modern data centers, rats have no particular place to live, but in old buildings there is no-no and no. And pretty healthy.

    They had a lot of problems with birds on distant objects - everything that glitters attracts their attention. They often peck at different parts of radio equipment. I heard that in Moscow the monorail had similar difficulties: high, shiny, they cover it with an even layer of fertilizer.

    Storage Supply

    Delivered 2 storage systems. In prices it was 190 million rubles for two racks. They were brought across the street. Unloaded on pallets. To enter the server room, it was necessary to open the door from the street. The security men, of course, locked everything up and did not allow it. They gave the key for a long time. And outside is winter. We observe a beautiful picture through the window: the guys in orange overalls are coming up on the roof and starting to throw off the crust from it. Straight to the pallets. The security men somehow convinced this at once.


    I had one colleague who came to the office in shorts in the morning. At this time in the north, something demanded a replacement. By some miracle, he was persuaded to fly for a day until the evening: in the morning there, fix it, then immediately back - and by the late dinner he was at home in Moscow. There he flew normally, and there struck a blizzard. Two weeks sitting without linen, without a toothbrush, without a normal amount of cash. He extended the hotel, threw money on the card for food. I think each of us was so stuck, but due to inexperience he was the least fortunate. We have pre-assembled cases for trips there.

    In one southern city we were not allowed on the site on Saturday. We agreed on downtime, waited for the end of the week, had to come and reflash something. And we just were not allowed into the building. It turned out that there were repairmen who repaired this building. At the weekend they stayed inside. A week before the downtime, one of them got drunk and hacked two of his drinking companions with an ax. The management made a management decision: in order to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy, it is prohibited to stay in the building on a day off.

    Nesting box

    Returning to the story of the raised floor and curbstone: a few years later we met the German solution for isolated data centers in old buildings. They make the foundation, then the metal support to the desired floor (we had the third one) and mount the platform with the data center in the container on it. It turns the foundation to the ground with its foundation. Even if the building collapses, the “birdhouse” will remain. Why I remembered: I know one building that someone had bought first, and then I realized that all the columns should be tied with reinforcement and new supports should be added so that we could install the data center.

    Temperature monitoring

    Here is a story where everything is beautiful. So the building. There was no centralized temperature monitoring. After problems with air conditioning began to look. But how! There was a shift on duty. Such women - the task was to see the problem and report. They went with the checklist and checked all the equipment. We looked at the leakage of liquids, recorded the readings of thermometers. Once an hour we went around the server rooms. The management was waiting for the introduction of monitoring. And we have one engineer often stayed at night. Very sporty man. So, he went to do cross-country exercises, it was spacious there, but hot. And 4 in the morning. A half-sleeping old woman with a notepad in her hand opens the door of a motocross, and a half-naked peasant jumps towards her with a cry: “Kiya!”

    Returning to the special atmosphere of Russian IT

    Diskettes invented in 1967. In the 71st came the first commercial party. 8 inch. In the 76th appeared 5.25 inches. At 81, the usual 3.5 in a hard envelope. In 2011, Sony (the largest manufacturer) completely stopped the release of floppy disks. In 2014, Toshiba redesigned a floppy factory for a vegetable farm. In 2016, the Pentagon announced the termination of the use of eight-inch floppy disks. Now it's 2018 in the yard, and we have a customer on the threshold in winter who asked if there would be a 5.25 drive when moving to the cloud in this very cloud. We could laugh, but he had previously asked us in detail about the compatibility of our object storage with Amazon S3 API and asked the right questions about the infrastructure. Therefore, we very carefully asked what caused such a question.

    They used very old software. He needed a key on a floppy disk. Even before the advent of Facebook, they made a few keys on these floppy disks, bought disk drives, and tried to restart the server as rarely as possible. In case of failure of this system, they had an ISO floppy disk, but the system spat on attempts to mount it. We decided that the matter was in the recorded valuable information in the backup area (as protection was sometimes done in those years), but we found the right drivers and presented the ISO to the virtual machine. It started. Now the diskette will never break, and the software will continue to work, wrapped in two hypervisors.

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